A UCSB freshman’s fate is now in the hands of the District Attorney after allegedly stealing approximately $1,631 worth of items from her roommates.
The woman’s name is being withheld because she has not been arrested or charged. SB Sheriff’s Dept. Public Information Officer Sgt. Phil Willis said his department is recommending that the D.A.’s office charge her with burglary.
“We’re asking the District Attorney’s office to file burglary charges based on the fact that she entered her suitemate’s room with the intent to steal items,” he said. “It’s the same as a residential burglary.”
The District Attorney should respond sometime next week. Burglary is considered a felony and the suspect, if convicted, can be sentenced to anything from a fine to prison time. However, Willis said prison time is very unlikely.
Joan Cichelli, one of the roommates from whom the 18-year-old allegedly stole, filed a report with the Isla Vista Foot Patrol on Nov. 3. Excluding $40 in cash from Cichelli’s wallet, all the stolen items have been returned to their rightful owners. Cichelli said she suspected the theft began two weeks ago, when she noticed an expensive jade bracelet was missing.
“It had been on top of the dresser. It really pissed me off because my dad gave it to me and it was really special to me,” she said. “Usually I take care of things and know where I can find them, so I thought it was really weird I would lose it.”
Cichelli said she noticed other items were missing as well, including a watch, eye makeup, two pairs of sunglasses, chapstick and tweezers.
“Some of it was really expensive, and some of it was just really random and weird,” Cichelli said. “I just thought I misplaced them,” she said.
Cichelli said she recalled hearing her allegedly thieving suitemate remark earlier that she wished she owned some of the items that later vanished. Cichelli said that when she realized her roommate had stolen from her, she filed a report with the police and notified FT management. She confronted her suitemate and demanded her belongings back.
“She basically cooperated,” Cichelli said. “She admitted to everything and confessed, but I called the police anyway.”
The suitemate returned all stolen items to their owners, excluding $40 in cash, Cichelli said. Among the returned goods were various articles from Cichelli’s other roommates as well. FT management also evicted the suitemate from the dorm. Cichelli said she resented the invasion of her privacy.
“I felt violated. She had been through everything in the room. She stole a wallet that was inside a purse that was inside another purse that was in a box in the closet,” Cichelli said. “She even took the links out of my [watchband] to make it fit her wrist.”
Cichelli praised the IVFP and FT staff for their help in resolving the problem.
“I am extremely happy to have all my things back. I’m not trying to get her in a huge amount of trouble, but there’s got to be huge repercussions for what she did,” she said. “I was glad people were there to help. [The IVFP was] entirely cooperative. They were amazing… Now it’s in the hands of the law.”
Neither a representative of FT management nor the alleged thief were available for comment.